Using the Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V
The original, true-blue Arduino is open-source hardware, which means anyone is free to download the design files and spin their own version of the popular development board. SparkFun has jumped on this opportunity and created all sorts of Arduino variants, each with their own unique features, dimensions, and applications. Now one of those variants has landed in your hands; congratulations! It's a wild world out there in microcontroller-land, and you're about to take your first step away from the wonderful -- though sometimes stifling -- simplicity of the Arduino Pro Mini. There are two variants, the 5V/16MHz and the 3.3V/8MHz.
For the scope of this tutorial, we'll go over how to set up and use the 3.3V Arduino Pro Mini, everything from assembling the tiny Arduino to programming it.
To follow along, you'll need a few extra items. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary. At a minimum you will need, some headers, USB cable, and FTDI. The FTDI Basic will be used to program (and power) the Pro Mini. The headers are optional, but they're our preferred way to interface other devices to the Pro Mini.
Assembly of the Pro Mini also requires soldering. This is a great place to start soldering, if you've never done it before! The joints are all easy, through-hole jobs. So grab a soldering iron, some solder and general soldering accessories.
This project tutorial builds on a few more conceptual tutorials. If you're not familiar with the subjects below, consider reading through their respective tutorials first: